Could you introduce yourself?
I’ve lived in Portland the last 6 years with my husband. I’m 64 and work full-time as a nurse in an area hospital. I didn’t do sports in school, I’m not a runner or biker, have never done yoga. My only work-outs have involved my horse.
How did you learn about aerial arts?
I saw the aerial performers with the Wanderlust circus here in Portland and thought I’d love to be able to do something like that.
When did you start taking classes?
I started classes last August 2017, still new to this. Actually Jolene scheduled an interview/ work-out with Mary so I could see what was possible for a my age and physical capacities and went from there.
What is your favorite aspect of aerial circus classes?
My favorite aspect has been seeing my strength and agility improve, being able to do things that I couldn’t do previously. The aerial arts classes have also changed my perspective, and not just because I’m hanging upside down sometimes. It’s made me question what other possibilities and options in life I’ve told myself I couldn’t do or that would never happen. This has given me a bigger window, a bigger door, into a fuller and more exciting life.
Where do you see yourself going with this, do you want to do a performance someday, or is this more of a fun recreational activity?
I’m doing this purely for pleasure, no career change planned, but I’d like to someday be part of a student show.
Do you have a favorite apparatus? Why or why not?
My favorite apparatus is the lyra, that’s what I started with and still my 1st choice because of the sense of security (you can also just rest in it.) However, I’m doing the beginning sling class that just started and it is TOO much fun! Sling gives you the ability to learn silks moves without the climbing.
What advice do you have for a potential student thinking about starting classes?
My advice to anyone considering this is Do it! You’ll never be sorry you had this experience. It’ll change how you think about your body. My other advice is not to wait till you think you’ll be stronger before you start. This is how strength and agility are built. There will be soreness but that’s part of muscles changing. The beginning of every class is conditioning exercises to warm and free up the muscles. All of the instructors have been incredibly supportive. No one pushes you to do anything you don’t feel ready for, nor asks you to do anything they haven’t judged you safe to try. I’ve gotten so much support, and the other students celebrate your achievements with you.
The human body is amazing at adapting and changing. Most of us have no idea of what we really could do. Carla Wallenda (of the famous Wallenda circus family) was still performing when she was 80.